Some pleasures we outgrow as we age. Others continue to provide the same pleasure year after year. Whether viewing E.T. on VHS in the 80s or streaming Stranger Things on Netflix these days, nothing is as worthy of interrupting the binge-watching as the classic grilled cheese sandwich.
There’s no shame in frying up some Kraft Singles in between white bread every now and then, but it’s not exactly the most sophisticated way to partake in the classic dish. And while this sandwich used to be relegated to childhood lunches, sick day meals, or quick family dinners, the grilled cheese is now elevated to restaurant fare.
In the fall of 2012, three local restaurant industry dudes combined forces to create The Mule. Located in the constantly growing and buzzing hub that is the Plaza District, The Mule takes the timeless favorite and contorts it into a whole menu of wild offerings.
“Myself and my two co-owners, John Harris and Cody Rowan, created The Mule because there was just a lack of options in our great city,” says owner Joey Morris. “We had put in our time in the business as waiters, busboys, dishwashers, managers, and bartenders, and thought we could give it a shot. We cooked these sandwiches together and with our families and our friends. Our name comes from one of my business partner’s grandpa's saying, which was ‘Don't worry about the mule, just load the cart,’ which we say to each other often when needed.”
The goal was and still is to provide cuisine that is both approachable and familiar, but still creative. Though the menu has a classic grilled cheese and tomato soup on it at all times, most guests prefer to try some of the more original sandwiches. The Mule’s best seller is the Macaroni Pony, which is a hunk of jalapeno cornbread split in half and hugging mac and cheese, BBQ pulled pork, and a pickle. It may not be exactly what your mom made for you as a kid, but you’ll feel just as giddy eating one.
On top of the vegan and gluten-free options additionally offered in the sandwich line up, the chefs at The Mule also construct some fantastic soups. “It's fun for them to play and create something new or spin an old classic,” Morris explains. “Anytime we do our take on a tortilla soup, it always flies out of the kitchen.” Traditionally, they make a tasty black bean soup every Sunday, which draws in regulars who crave it every week.
If you’re more thirsty than hungry, The Mule shakes up a seasonal list of cocktails designed by their bar staff. During the winter months, you can stave off the cold with their versions of hot toddies and buttered rum. For the beer drinkers, they always have a reliable line-up of fresh local brews on draft, as well as a wide selection of cans. Enjoy!
> The Mule, 1630 N Blackwelder Ave, Oklahoma City